We have spent the last bit talking about shame: our shame related to wounding and in our next gathering, about shame related to our own sin. Throughout that, we have dug into some pretty powerful scripture in Hebrews, learning that we are not only welcome and wanted at the foot of the throne, but that is in fact, where we belong. There is nothing that can separate us from these truths, as there has been an eternal blood offering made for us in the place of our ability or need to maintain or provide perfection.
I felt quite called and led to teach on these themes and share these scriptures in preparation for our series in the spring- Family Redeemer. I have come to know that unless we are aware of our shame and our sin, its origin and its effects, we can not fully know the freedom that was meant for us in a redeemer and how much we need it. I also feel it is of great importance for us to see that He has provided the want, the welcome and the belonging. This isn’t a cooperative experience where you give even 10%; rather an experience that required death of our savior on the cross so that we could be free to simply love and be loved.
I have heard that some have struggled with these themes, feeling as if we may need to get to a place where you can feel like you have made it to the other side, so that you can feel happy or more light when you leave. And I pray friends, that those things are true for you when you come to Restore, but may I challenge you? It may not look as you are longing for. You see, I don’t believe we are going to get to a place where you will feel like you have made it to the other side. The reason being, we have been made by design for continual restoration; your complete self will not be seen here by the likes of you or anyone else. I want to encourage you- there is so much hope to be found in that! If you could reach the other side here, you would no longer be in need of Him. Without Him, you are but a lost sheep without a shepherd, wandering on your own to decide what makes you good and what makes you whole. I have heard that some are feeling quite heavy after our gathering and I would say two things to that; one: me too, at times. This is a lot of material to uncover and to offer back to Him. That can seem heavy and overwhelming but in Him and through Him, He intends to make you light; that can be a process, and you will need others to help you. Two: the word of God was not meant to crush, but to offer life. However, the process of that can feel like death at times, as we are stripped of the things that were not meant for us and they are replaced with truths that are meant to free us, but can make us feel like we have less. But often, that ‘less’ is control. Control is a chain that tells you that you have to know what is next, you have to do it right, you can’t trust and you can’t fail; and those are lies from the pit. Perhaps the challenge comes through the truth and recognition that you have never actually been in control, anyway. I pray that you feel happy, friends. More than that, I pray you would feel comfort when you leave our gatherings; comfort that you have an awareness of a need for someone who truly holds all that you need to be whole, to be free, to be complete, to be renewed, to be restored, to be known, to be seen, to be loved, to be wanted, to be washed clean, to experience rest, to experience hope and to know that you have a place that screams of belonging.
This next gathering on the 20th will be the last time we gather until April when we start our next 4 part series; Family Redeemer. The four parts are titled: Family Redeemer, Ransomed, Rescued, Redeemed. We have spent the last months talking about our need, who Jesus is and how that was meant to heal us. And starting on April 27, we will spend time learning about what He's done, and how we desperately needed and continue to need for Him to do all of those things. For we could not be redeemed if we hadn't been rescued and we couldn't have been rescued if He hadn’t paid our ransom. Perhaps you have people in your earthly families who have really been the glue for the cracks, the strength in hard or weak times or perhaps the only one who could have held it together. But those people are human- death and weakness is real for them and failure is inevitable. But for our King, for our Jesus, for our Savior; He is the true Family Redeemer who will not rest until you are His, who will not fail you and who has done all the things to make you whole, to make you His, to give you life.
I pray that you know just how loved you are. I have been challenged in the last months to be a better leader, a better teacher, a better communicator and I realize now more than ever, that without Him I can do nothing but wish. Yet, in Him and through Him I can hope and I can ask and I can pray; ‘better’ is no longer in my list of needs but, to be more of a daughter, is. May you know that all that has been done for you has been done specifically for you, in light of your sin and in full knowledge of your need. You are free women who can ask, who can need, who can be weak and who can confess that they get it wrong and only through your confession can you become whole, friends. Your weakness is what makes you worthy.